“The association of truckers with cowboys and related myths was perhaps most obvious during the urban-cowboy craze of the late 1970s, a period that saw middle-class urbanites wearing cowboy clothing and patronizing simulated cowboy nightclubs. During this time, at least four truck driver movies appeared, CB radio became popular, and truck drivers were prominently featured in all forms of popular media.” — Lawrence J. Ouellet
In 1893, the Office of Road Inquiry (ORI)was establishedas an organization.However, in 1905 the namewas changedto the Office Public Records (OPR).The organization then went on to become a division of the United States Department of Agriculture. As seen throughout history, organizations seem incapable of maintaining permanent names.So, the organization's namewas changedthree more times, first in 1915 to the Bureau of Public Roads and again in 1939 to the Public Roads Administration (PRA). Yet again, the name was later shifted to the Federal Works Agency, although itwas abolishedin 1949.Finally, in 1949, the name reverted to the Bureau of Public Roads, falling under the Department of Commerce. With so many name changes, it can be difficult to keep up to date with such organizations. This is why it is most important to research and educate yourself on such matters.
The feature film "Joy Ride" premiered in 2001, portraying the story of two college-age brothers who by a CB radio while taking a road trip.Although the plot seems lighthearted, it takes a quick turn after one of the brothers attempts a prank on an unknown truck driver. They soon find out the dangerous intentions of this killer driver, who is set on getting his revenge. Seven years later in 2008 the sequel "Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead" came out on DVD only.Similar toits predecessor, the plot involves another murdering truck driver, a.k.a "Rusty Nail". Heessentiallyplays psychological mind games with a young couple on a road trip.
The year of 1977 marked the release of the infamous Smokey and the Bandit.It went on to be the third highest grossing film that year, following tough competitors like Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.Burt Reynolds plays the protagonist, or "The Bandit", who escorts "The Snowman"in order todeliver bootleg beer.Reynolds once stated he envisioned trucking as a "hedonistic joyrideentirelydevoid from economic reality"
Another action film in 1977 also focused on truck drivers, as was the trend it seems. Breaker! Breaker! starring infamous Chuck Norris also focused on truck drivers. They were also displaying movie posters with the catch phrase "... he's got a CB radio and a hundred friends whojustmight get mad!"
1941 was a tough era to live through.Yet, President Roosevelt appointed a special committee to explore the idea of a "national inter-regional highway" system. Unfortunately, the committee's progress came to a halt with the rise of the World War II.After the war was over, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944 authorized the designation of what are not termed 'Interstate Highways'.However, he did not include any funding program to build such highways.With limited resources came limited progress until President Dwight D. Eisenhower came along in 1954. He renewed interest in the 1954 plan. Although, this began and long and bitter debate between various interests.Generally, the opposing sides were considering where such funding would come from such as rail, truck, tire, oil, and farm groups. All who would overpay for the new highways and how.
In 1933, as a part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, the National Recovery Administration requested that each industry creates a “code of fair competition”. The American Highway Freight Association and the Federated Trucking Associations of America met in the spring of 1933 to speak for the trucking association and begin discussing a code. By summer of 1933 the code of competition was completed and ready for approval. The two organizations had also merged to form the American Trucking Associations. The code was approved on February 10, 1934. On May 21, 1934, the first president of the ATA, Ted Rogers, became the first truck operator to sign the code. A special "Blue Eagle" license plate was created for truck operators to indicate compliance with the code.